Politics

Trump Rips ‘Fake News’ American Media in Front of Baltic Press

The president said he wanted 'real' questions from credible media members, so he encouraged calling on a foreign journalist

President Donald Trump mocked liberal American mainstream media outlets for pushing “fake news” during a joint press conference Tuesday with the leaders of the Baltic states.

Trump and the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania met together before holding the press conference to discuss next steps in strengthening alliances and joint national security interests.

After Trump, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė took some questions, Trump asked Vējonis to choose the next reporter to ask a question. But Trump had one important caveat for Vējonis’ selection.

“Pick a reporter, please. You can pick a reporter, a Baltic reporter, ideally real news, not fake news. Go ahead. Do you want to pick?” Trump said, as the audience laughed. “Mr. President, pick a reporter from the Baltics.”

A female Latvian journalist then asked her question about Vējonis’ impending trip to San Francisco. As the four presidents were exiting after the press conference’s conclusion, an American journalist shouted out a question at Trump that didn’t have to do with policy, saying, “Any response to Stormy Daniels?” Daniels is the porn star who alleges that she had an affair with Trump during his marriage to Melania Trump.

Trump often rails against mainstream media outlets — like CNN, in particular — for their bias against him and his administration, calling them “fake news.” Prior to his meeting with the Baltic leaders Tuesday, Trump even took to Twitter to lambaste outlets spewing “fake news.”

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“The Fake News Networks, those that knowingly have a sick and biased AGENDA, are worried about the competition and quality of Sinclair Broadcast. The ‘Fakers’ at CNN, NBC, ABC & CBS have done so much dishonest reporting that they should only be allowed to get awards for fiction!” Trump tweeted.

Trump added, “Check out the fact that you can’t get a job at ratings challenged @CNN unless you state that you are totally anti-Trump? Little Jeff [Zucker], whose job is in jeopardy, is not having much fun lately. They should clean up and strengthen CNN and get back to honest reporting!”

Trump referred to the flap that occurred when Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly gave dozens of local TV anchors scripts to read, warning against “biased and false news.”

Related: Most Americans Now Say Mainstream Media Often Report ‘Fake News’

“So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.” Trump tweeted Monday.

The president’s most recent dig at mainstream media outlets also came the day after a new Monmouth University poll revealed that 77 percent of Americans believe “traditional major news sources like TV and newspapers” report fake news either regularly or occasionally, compared to the 63 percent of Americans who thought the same last year.

The Media Research Center (MRC) found in a study published in March that 91 percent of ABC, CBS and NBC news coverage of Trump during January and February was negative in tone and content. The three networks’ entire 2017 Trump coverage was 90 percent negative, MRC found as well.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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